Art in the Heritage District – Murals: Stop 18-19

Art in the Heritage District – Murals: Stop 18-19

Art in the Heritage District – Murals: Stop 18-19 

Elaine Kessler 

Murals are a compelling way to commemorate space, place, and time in a unique and farreaching way. Making our way south on Gilbert Road, you’ll find this mural on the south facing wall of the American Legion Post 39 at 206 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234 (which is on the west side of the road). This mural was created as one of the class projects for the Gilbert Leadership program. Depicting a moment earlier in time for the town, this is a nostalgic art piece reminding the community of its history.


 

Just a bit further south on Gilbert Road, this time on the east side, there is this beautiful and thoughtful mural, found on the wall of Casa de Gilbert that faces north toward the Gilbert Chamber. 

I reached out to Arizona native Kendall Faber, the muralist. Kendall is “inspired most by the wild & bohemian nature of the southwest.” According to her website, “Kendall Yvonne has now evolved into a print shop & art studio specializing in botanical art & design.” 

I posed a few questions to Kendall about the Casa de Gilbert mural and here’s what she had to say: 

1) What is the importance of a mural? 

I think murals are important largely because they have the ability to be a voice of the community and show a bit of its personality and energy to visitors. If done thoughtfully, they can almost be a way to say “Welcome! Here’s what we’re about!” By the same token, I think they can become a familiar and cherished landmark for the people who live there, a snapshot that can bring the comfort and warmth of home whenever you walk or drive by. Of course, as a muralist, you do feel that pressure that this is an opportunity to convey something important and meaningful that will really resonate with everyone. 

2) Why/How did you/your group choose which elements to include? 

The McKiernans (the owners of Casa de Gilbert) and I knew we wanted a fun combination between modern and vintage, much like Casa de Gilbert and our little downtown. We also wanted to showcase the desert we all love so much so that’s how we landed on the cacti silhouettes with the bold retro font. I proposed the quote because I felt like it was so simple while being comforting and motivational. “You are right where you are supposed to be” speaks both to a sense of place–Gilbert, Arizona–as well as this moment/period in your life, so it’s up for interpretation. Either way, I just wanted people to feel a sense of peace and contentment whenever they see it, in whatever way they need. 

3) What impact do you think your mural has on the community? 

For one, I think the response has been greater than I ever could have anticipated, and I truly feel so humbled every day to have had the opportunity to give something like this to my community. But I think what I love seeing, whether that’s through Instagram or even while I’m across the street teaching at The Art House, is that it just makes people pause. They make U-turns or stop on their way to wherever they’re going and maybe take a picture, but often they also seem to spend some time just hanging out there, reflecting on the words. Through social media I’ve seen so many pictures along with people sharing their life stories and how the mural made them feel. I’ve definitely cried on multiple occasions reading them! They’re so special to me and I love that it’s given people the excuse to just slow down and be with themselves even for a minute. 

Follow Kendall on instagram:  @kendall_yvonne 

 

Faber, Kendall. “About.” Kendall Yvonne Botanical Art + Design. https://www.kendallyvonne.com/about 

Faber, Kendall. “Murals in DT Gilbert.” Message to Elaine Kessler. 14 May 2020. E-mail.   

Kessler, Elaine. “Downtown Gilbert Murals.” Elaine Kessler Photography. 2020. https://www.elainekesslerphotography.com  

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